The American Independent Film Awards Celebrate Movies Made Cheap.

The American Independent Film Awards Celebrate Movies Made Cheap. Here’s What Won In Its First Year.

‘Krisha’ dominates as a new awards recognizes the year’s best in microbudget filmmaking.

Last night, the newest awards body in independent film announced its inaugural winners. The American Independent Film Awards describe themselves as “a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting independent films, filmmakers and film technicians”. They are also exclusively focused on films made for under $1 million, which separates them from broader indie ceremonies like the Spirits.

Trey Edward Shults’ Krisha was the big winner this year, taking home Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay, Lead Performance and Score. Also recognized with a couple wins were Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits and Jim Hosking’s The Greasy Strangler, two great but very different low-budget favorites of ours from last year. Robert Greene’s bold documentary fiction hybrid Kate Plays Christine was awarded Best Editing and Best Improvisational Screenplay. Additionally, Molly Shannon was recognized for her supporting role in Other People.

As the AIFA website asks, do we really need a new film awards show? Their short answer: “absolutely!”. Indeed, the creation of these awards are crucial for recognizing the underseen and underappreciated indie films that might not have the financial advantages of others; especially as the definition of an “indie film” has ballooned to include films like The Revenant and La La Land.

You can check out the full list of winners below:

BEST FILM
Always Shine – Director: Sophia Takal
Producers: Lawrence Michael Levine, Sophia Takal, Pierce Varous

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party – Director: Stephen Cone
Producers: Stephen Cone, Laura Klein, Shane Simmons

Kate Plays Christine – Director: Robert Greene
Producers: Susan Bedusa, Douglas Tirola

WINNER: Krisha – Director: Trey Edward Shults
Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Trey Edward Shults, Wilson Smith

Little Sister – Director: Zach Clark
Producers: Zach Clark, Daryl Pittman, Melodie Sisk

The Eyes of My Mother – Director: Nicolas Pesce
Producers: Max Born, Jacob Wasserman, Schuyler Weiss

The Fits – Director: Anna Rose Holmer
Producers: Anna Rose Holmer, Lisa Kjerulff

The Invitation – Director: Karyn Kusama
Producers: Martha Griffin, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Nick Spicer

The Other Side – Director: Roberto Minervini
Producers: Paolo Benzi, Muriel Meynard, Dario Zonta

White Girl – Director: Elizabeth Wood
Producers: Gabriel Nussbaum

BEST DIRECTOR
Robert Greene, Kate Plays Christine
WINNER: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Zach Clark, Little Sister
Anna Rose Holmer, The Fits
Karyn Kusama, The Invitation

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Stephen Cone, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
WINNER: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Zach Clark, Little Sister
Saela Davis, Anna Rose Holmer, Lisa Kjerulff, The Fits
Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, The Invitation
Elizabeth Wood, White Girl

BEST IMPROVISATIONAL SCREENPLAY
Blue Jay
collective: unconscious
WINNER: Kate Plays Christine

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Mackenzie Davis, Always Shine
Kate Lyn Sheil, Kate Plays Christine
WINNER: Krisha Fairchild, Krisha
Addison Timlin, Little Sister
Jesse Plemons, Other People
Royalty Hightower, The Fits
Morgan Saylor, White Girl

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
Caitlin FitzGerald, Always Shine
Edwina Findley, Free in Deed
Keith Poulson, Little Sister
Ally Sheedy, Little Sister
WINNER: Molly Shannon, Other People
Tammy Blanchard, The Invitation
John Carroll Lynch, The Invitation

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER
Drew Daniels, Krisha
Zach Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother
WINNER: Paul Yee, The Fits

BEST EDITOR
WINNER: Robert Greene, Kate Plays Christine
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Saela Davis, The Fits

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Hannah Kittell, Kate Plays Christine
Elizabeth Crum, Men Go To Battle
WINNER: Christina Blackaller, The Greasy Strangler

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Soojin Chang, Charlotte Royer, Paul Tate dePoo III, Mar Urrestarazu, Timothy Whidbee, collective: unconscious
John Fergason, Creative Control
Chelsea Oliver Embers
WINNER: Sam Hensen, The Eyes of My Mother
Charlotte Royer, The Fits
Jason Kisvarday, The Greasy Strangler

BEST HAIR & MAKE-UP
Janine Maloney/Cat Martin, The Eyes of My Mother
Danielle Mueller, The Fits
WINNER: Michelle Sfarzo, The Greasy Strangler

BEST SCORE
Daniel Garcia, Jesse Gelaznik, Kazu Makino, Alex Weston, H.
WINNER: Brian McOmber, Krisha
Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi, The Fits

THE MICHAEL CIMINO BEST FILM AWARD
Certain Women – Producers: Neil Kopp, Director: Kelly Reichardt
WINNER: The Love Witch – Producer/Director: Anna Biller

THE NOBUDGE FILM AWARD
Claire Carré’s Embers
Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s For the Plasma
WINNER: Benjamin Crotty’s Fort Buchanan
Stephen Cone’s Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
Robert G. Putka’s Mad

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